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Miss Winthorpe's Elopement (Belston & Friends #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  511 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews

Shy heiress Miss Penelope Winthorpe was only trying to escape her bullying brother. She never meant to wed a noble lord over a blacksmith's anvil
Adam Felkirk, Duke of Bellston, had no intention of taking a wife. But then Penelope's plight moved him. Now the notorious rake has a new aim--to shock and seduce his prim and proper bride.
But the gorgeous duke will be taught a
ebook, 288 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Harlequin Special Releases (first published June 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,185)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
After I read a short story by Ms. Merrill, I knew she'd be an author I wanted to read more of. And Miss Winthorpe's Engagement has validated that decision.

I appreciate the bluestocking/spinster theme very much, and as a booklover, how could I not adore Penelope? All she wants is to enjoy her spinsterhood and indulge her love of books, and as a considerable heiress, she has plenty of funds to do so. Unfortunately, her brother has decided that she spends too much money on books, when she has plent
I actually picked this one up, because I'm just about to review another book which has some of the same characters and I didn't want to feel like I didn't know what the background was.

So, I bought the kindle book, begrudged paying five-something bucks for it, when epub was cheaper, especially when it's a relatively short book... until I started reading it. Wow! I LOVED this book.

Although the premise of aristo marrying cit heiress, then falling for her, is actually a fairly well-worn path, someth
I read this on a whim so that I had an excuse to eat my lunch and have something to do until I go to the gym. It is a short read, with a cliche bluestocking character with a marriage of convenience setting, and I adored it. For a harlequin, I did not expect this type of story to be so enjoyable.

The heroine is Penelope Winthorpe, a spinster-ish bluestocking who wants to marry a manageable man so that she can read peaceably for the rest of her days, all in attempts to escape her controlling brothe
Juliana Philippa
3.5 stars
I'm somewhat torn on this book. In the beginning, I was disappointed because it started off feeling a little trite, cliche, and caricature-ish. That quickly changed though and I ended up really enjoying both the hero and heroine, as well as their interactions and developing relationship. I did have two problems though that really marred my enjoyment.

{ Praise }
While they're characters we have definitely seen before - the plain, bookish, quiet, blustocking wallflower and the arrogant, i
Jess the Romanceaholic
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: Available Now!
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin Historical
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Belston and Friends
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy

The blurb of this little historical gem simply doesn't do the book justice.

Penelope is, to put it mildly, a bookworm. Penelope is an heiress to a great fortu
Manda Collins
Great book. Bluestocking heroine, hero with a tarnished past. Love the way Merrill gradually leads them to love. And doesn't completely make over the heroine in order for her to win his love.
Sep 27, 2014 kris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was more like 1.5 stars: I did not like that I kind of liked it?

Penelope is super rich but needs to get married ASAP. Adam is super drunk and needs some money ASAP. She nearly runs him down on the road and then kidnaps him and marries him. Adam's gross past comes out of the woodwork to ruin everything before boners and feelings get in the way.


2. Were restaurants really a thing in
Aug 28, 2013 Angélica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: HR fans
3.5 stars
A surprisingly funny and definitely better story than the similar novella Reasons for Marriage by Stephanie Laurens. I think what made this better is that the male main character actually has other thoughts in his mind than shagging the main female character. And that I share quite a few traits with Penny, the most prominent of which are her aversion to large groups of people and her bookishness. I really like how both Adam and Penny endeavored to make the best of their relationship and
Good solid HR fare - a few dollops of angst, likeable H&h. Not the most realistic of tales, but excellent for a quick late-night comfort re-read.
Harlequin Historical
Fun read!

Miss Penelope, a cit's daughter, is a shy heiress who just wants to be left alone with her books. Her brother, who has control of her money, refuses to buy more books for her. He thinks she is to much of a blue-stocking. Penelope leaves her brother's in a tiff with the plans of going to Gretna Green and finding someone to be her husband on the way. All she needs is some nice man who will be happy with some of her money and will leave her alone.

Enter Adam, Duke of Bellston.

Adam is drunk
Jun 01, 2010 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 01, 2010 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one quite a lot. The heroine is the reclusive bluestocking daughter of a printer whose brother has cut off her book purchasing money. Since she will inherit her own fortune when she marries, in a rage, she takes off on a trip to Scotland hunting for an appropriate groom on the way--one who will let her live her life the way she wants. She stumbles across a drunken impoverished peer who's trying to commit accidental suicide (because he's insured) and decides he's perfect. Only when h ...more
Apr 01, 2010 TJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I was expecting a run-of-the-mill regency when I started this book, I was surprised to find small twists to the story ( the heroine is a complete book nerd!) and dimensions I did not expect. I especially appreciated how Ms. Merrill revealed her characters and their motives a little at a time throughout the book. In this way the reader learns right along with the other characters instead of being privy to motives then just watching them play out. This made for a much more interesting sto ...more
May 18, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Penelope Winthorpe (Penny), daughter of a cit, has a huge inheritance and she wants to get away from her brother's thumb so she sets out by herself to find a husband who will respect her privacy and allow her to read as much as she wants. She just so happens to find a man that stumbles out from a tavern in Scotland and while he is inebriated and lands right in front of her carriage. She leads him to gretna green and they got married. To her fortune, she landed a Duke, Adam Felkirk, however he is ...more
Jun 04, 2016 P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviews are all over the place on this one and it's easy to see why. The beginning is amusing to hilarious, depending on the reader. I thought it was hilarious. Then the in control, fairly strong heroine wimps out, her odd-ball decision to kidnap a husband being a one-off, and the lost and loser hero becomes the stern, totally in control aristocrat [a duke no less] and as the plot shifts to accommodate this you don't really know where you allegiance is supposed to lie. Then, just to help out, in ...more
Darla Stokes
Sep 02, 2014 Darla Stokes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading a slew of mediocre romances and wondering if I was just tired of the entire genre, I pulled this one out of my TBR pile. It was a breath of fresh air.

We've seen similar elements before--a bluestocking heroine, impoverished nobility, marriage of convenience, a spurned lover bent on making trouble for the new couple, etc. But what stands out here is the characters. Not their "types," but the individuals. And not just the main characters, but the entire cast. They glow, they're so re
Jun 16, 2013 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brain-junk-food
Meh.... It was alright. I liked that the leading lady was a bookish, blue stocking wallflower, but for her to be one and not act like one is totally not cool. How could she be so torn away from the world, yet come across in her actions and conversations as being a well rounded person? For not having any friends and of course no experience with men, she learned quick all that was necessary to please a man. The story line was faltering and horribly slow. I found that the Duke was more deep and had ...more
Sep 11, 2015 micki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this 4 stars, but I may be being overly generous. Instead of rating it as soon as I finished I started another book which ended up really bringing my mood down. I know I liked the hero and heroine in this book, and I THINK I planned to give it 4 stars, but my current feeling says 3 stars. Since I think that's a direct result of the book I just finished, and not this one, I'll err on the side of magnanimity and go with with 4.
Victoria Leo
Jun 01, 2015 Victoria Leo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun Regency

If you're tired of the usual plot, consider this intelligent, scholarly lady and the devoted but unlucky agriculturist landowner nobleman as the somewhat less common protagonists. The high point is the quality of the writing. You won't groan at stupid dialog or endless pages of no actual plot, just stirrings of desire. The author floats some ideas about psychology that indicate research.
Sep 07, 2013 Kim_bab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: moc, hr
heroine kedua yang kubaca yang melamar heronya duluan :)

Penny seorang pewaris kaya,sudah muak dengan kakaknya yang selalu mengontrol kehidupannya, termasuk mencela hobi menyendiri di kamar untuk membaca buku-bukubya (aktivitas ini terdengar familiar :D).
Jadilah dia langsung berkendara bersama dengan pelayannya untuk mencari suami, lelaki siapapun asal bisa membiarkannya untuk meneruskan hobinya.
Tanpa sengaja ada pria mabuk yang menghalangi kereta kudanya, tanpa pikir panjang, Penny langsung
Aug 21, 2015 Readery rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was awful and not at all what I expected.
Adam- first of all I didn't really like his attitude. Then I disliked him because how can someone decent be friends with those people that other HR write about in such a negative light. This is the side of the ton that we don't like- idle lives, cynicism, infidelity, etc. And the whole love triangle with his best friend and the best friend's wife just made him sink lower in my eyes. I understand there's a rake/reformed rake appeal but if he had
The beginning was promising.... But character development is weak... What is Penelope a spitfire blue sticking or a meek wallflower? And the relationship jumps from platonic to hot and steamy with not much chemistry in the beginning when and where did adam develop all those feeling also the secondary plot of him cheating on his best friend wasn't explained much.
Dec 31, 2015 Joannwv rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The heroine 's immaturity also made this a dnf , if some of her behaviors had been deleted, would of been a most enjoyable book. Great hero.
Cute! I really enjoyed Penny's character development. She went from being a complete introvert with sassy and stubborn tendencies, to a confident lady not afraid to give her hubs the what for.
Jul 13, 2014 Maggie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, library
I liked this book okay, the characters were interesting and the writing was good. I listened to it on audio, I'm not sure I would have picked it up otherwise.
Heather Ingemar
Dec 02, 2010 Heather Ingemar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romance readers, historical romance readers
Surprisingly well-written! I'll admit I haven't had very good luck with Harlequin novels, so I was fairly dubious about what I'd be in for. I was pleasantly surprised. There was romance, chemistry, society intrigues, and none of it came across as cheesy or cliche or unbelievable (all too common in 90% of the romance novels I've read lately). Kudos to Merrill for writing a male character who was neither a lust-plagued beast or a "she-male" (leading male char. who talks & acts like a woman due ...more
Nov 09, 2015 Annette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this story!! Plain bookworm is exactly what this handsome duke needed.
Skeleton Writer
Apr 11, 2016 Skeleton Writer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was better than I thought it would be.
Becky Black
May 21, 2015 Becky Black rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-f, historical
I enjoyed this enough that I just finished off the last 50 pages straight after my breakfast. Had to love Penny. What avid reader wouldn't sympathise with her running away from her brother when he threatens to cut off her book supply?! I liked how the characters seemed more mature than in some romances. That's not to say they always act sensibly and carefully think things through (that would be no fun!) but you do at least feel like you're reading about adults and not stroppy teenagers.
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help me decide if I should read this! 8 20 Jun 12, 2013 09:54PM  
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Christine Merrill has wanted to be an author for as long as she can remember. But one thing stood in her way: touch typing.

Six weeks spent on an IBM Selectric in her Sophomore year of high school proved that she would never be able to produce one readable page of manuscript, much less several hundred.

Twenty years passed, and she found ways to pass the time: marrying her high school sweetheart; hav
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Other Books in the Series

Belston & Friends (2 books)
  • Dangerous Lord, Innocent Governess (Belston & Friends #2)

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